RORY MCILROY CAN move ahead of world number one Luke Donald with a top seven finish at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow this week.
The Northern Irishman spent a fortnight away from competitive golf following his equal-40th finish at the Masters in April and can reclaim top spot with a strong performance at the tournament he won in 2010.
Donald leapfrogged McIlroy into the top ranking with a third-place finish at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans on Sunday but is sitting out the Wells Fargo Championship out.
McIlroy, who celebrates his 23rd birthday tomorrow, has been working with his coach Michael Bannon and fitness coach Steve McGregor ‘a couple of different things’ following his return to the United States.
“I just played a practice round today at Quail Hollow and the game feels really good,” McIlroy said. ”I feel like I’m back on the right track and I feel like I’m getting more comfortable with it and looking forward to getting back and playing some competitive golf this week.”
The Masters was widely billed as a two-horse race between McIlroy and Tiger Woods but the pre-tournament favourites finished 15 shots behind winner Bubba Watson at Augusta National. Woods, who has 72 Tour wins and 14 Majors to his name, skipped the traditional pre-tournament news conference at Quail Hollow in favour of a video posted on his website.
Woods has worked extensively with swing coach Sean Foley following his worst ever performance at the Masters.
“I feel like if I do the things that we’ve been working on, and get my posture and takeaway dialled in, then yes, I feel like I have a good chance (of winning),” Woods said. ”I’m going to a golf course I like in Charlotte. I’ve won there before (in 2007).
“It’s a ball-striking event. You’ve got to hit the ball really well there to give yourself a chance, and make a few putts at the same time. I’m looking forward to that.”
American Lucas Glover is the reigning champion at Quail Hollow, having become the first player in the nine-year history of the event to post in the 60s in all four rounds last year.